Just learned there’s a fire in Santa Barbara. Our house is not in the evacuation area (that’s Cold Springs, and some surrounding sections in Montecito and SB C ), but we’re still concerned. I’m taking public notes, before I head down there. (I’m in the Bay Area.)
I’m listening to KNX/1070 from Los Angeles right now. “The main body of this fire is in wilderness, but there are homes below the thick black smoke… 60 mph winds… East of Mountain Drive and Cold Springs Road… the KCAL helicopter is fighting turbulence. Heavy winds.” Now they’re talking to the retired fire chief. He says the winds are high and “downcanyon” toward the ocean. “There are structures involved in this fire.” Now burning Southwest. That’s toward town. Bad.
If you have news sources, or news you want to share, post it in the comments below. Thanks.
[Later...] It’s 3am and I’m in Santa Barbara now, getting ready to crash at some friends’, sitting on a chair out front in the cool smoky moonlit night.
I could see the fire high on the mountain face as I drove into town, but smoke obscured it when I tried to see more from the Mesa, above downtown. The town itself, and the Riviera above it, looked normal from what I could tell, even though I know at least a couple houses within sight had already burned. Beyond that, in Montecito and beyond the back side of the Riviera, 70+ homes gone. Or so reports say.
I noticed that many stations on Gibraltar Peak were off the air, and learned on KTYD that their sister station KSBL/101.7 had lost its antenna to the fire. That antenna was closest to the woods, and to the source of the fire. Also gone were KQSC/88.7, KSBX/89.5, religious station translators on 89.9 and 91.5, KCLU’s translator on 102.3, and KMGQ/106.3. Still on the air were KDB/93.7 and KTYD/99.9. All those off the air are near brush on the side of the peak facing town. KDB is on the back side of the transmitter building, away from brush. The fact that it’s on the air tells me that the transmitter building survived, but that most antennas outside did not. All but KDB’s were close to the ground. KTYD is farther up the hill, and high on one of KTYD’s three towers.
Hard to imagine fire up that high, and in country so thick with flammable chapparal, not spreading and consuming the whole mountain, especially if the winds are right. But… I dunno. Meanwhile, read Ray Ford’s report while I go to bed.
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